There was a nice article in the latest issue of the HBR about the “other” Fukushima plant.
The “other” Fukushima plan? What?
Well yes, there was another one, that suffered exactly the same earthquake and subsequent tsumani, yet managed to perform a cool shutdown of their 4 reactors in 3 days. It’s true that the situation was slightly different because the power lines were not completely shut down like the other famous Daiichi plant, but still, people were scared to death (and Japanese people are used to earthquakes), they were horribly concerned about their families and the whole installation around them was damaged with no clue of what worked and what had collapsed.
How did the leader do to manage the situation? Well I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but what is interesting for us to know is that he managed all the people around him to make sense of the situation. He didn’t “take charge”. He shared his fears, his information, his ideas good or bad. And that made the magic: as everybody made sense of how complex, uncertain and changing it was, they all followed commonly agreed instructions. To a success.
Read their story, I’m sure there’s a lot we can learn as BA, PM, leaders facing uncertainty, complexity and change.